(ANS - Freetown) - Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leon, lies between the mountains and the sea, in a country with the entire continent's highest rate of annual precipitation. The rainy season on Sierra Leon's capital is very long and therefore it is not surprising that the city is accustomed to flooding. But the rains that hit the city on Monday, August 14, have caused nearly 400 deaths, hundreds of people missing, death and desolation everywhere. What are the Salesians doing in this situation? As during the Ebola epidemic, they are among the first to respond, and now commit themselves to accompanying the children affected.
(ANS – Freetown) – “Once a guard told us that we were not allow to kill cockroaches, because our lives were of less value than that of a cockroach,” says an inmate who spent 4 years in Pademba. The lives of inmates, "faceless men" in the prison of Pademba Road is an experience of continued suffering. Not by chance is it called "Hell on earth." But for the prisoners, life is not easy even when you leave the place. Unless someone decides to help you.
(ANS - Lungi) - Anthony Leung is a young Salesian cleric born in Hong Kong and called to be missionary; he is currently carrying out a two-year training period in Sierra Leone. He is the second missionary in Salesian history that comes from China.
(ANS - Freetown) - Aminata and Augusta did not know each other. Augusta worked as a prostitute to be able to eat, but now has her own catering business and strives to make it clear to other girls that they should not take that road. Aminata, on the other hand, believes she has to be a prostitute because her grandmother and her mother both were. Augusta is grateful to Don Bosco for the new life that has been given to her, while Aminata is aware of wanting to get out of that world, and appreciates the Salesians' efforts to persuade her, ... but she still resists.
(ANS – Freetown) – A few months ago, an urban bus from Badajoz (Extremadura) was sent to Freetown (Sierra Leone) to cooperate in one of the projects for the minors at risk of exclusion living on the streets of the city. The first objective is to save prostitutes who are minors. This is one of the stories of "a forgotten childhood girl".
(ANS – Freetown) – Three years ago Sierra Leone was mentioned in the media all over the world as the country where people died of Ebola. “The truth – the Spanish daily ‘El Mundo’ wrote – is that Sierra Leone is sinking into oblivion and only a smaller number of NGOs remain in the zone”. While media and international organizations seem to have forgotten, Salesians did not leave any room to oblivion, abandonment and despair. The Salesian Mission Procure of Madrid and the Sons of Don Bosco continue to help and work to secure a future to children and young people.
Italy - Don Bosco's relic, Fr Attard: "It is not spiritualism, but a projection towards the sacred"
(ANS - Castelnuovo Don Bosco) - The relic of Don Bosco, stolen last 2 June and recovered after a few days by the Carabinieri, was returned to the Basilico of Colle Don Bosco on 16 August. Here is how Fr. Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, expresses his thanks to the Carabinieri and the sense of the Sanit's "presence."
"In extreme cases, extreme means must be used"
"Lift up your hearts! No more complaint and fear! It well may be some happier hour will find this memory fair.” These are the words with which Aeneas encourageed his companions in the adversity of fate and dangers. (Virgil, Aeneid, I, 203)
Thailand – EAO and South Asia Regions Seminar on Initial Proclamation
(ANS – Sam Phran) – The Missionary Animation and Formation Seminar: “Initial Proclamation and the Salesian Mission” is being held this week from August 14 to August 20 in Ban Than Praphon (FMA retreat house), Sam Phran, Thailand. Every six years, the Mission Sectors of SDB and FMA prepare a Seminar for their provincial-level missionary animators.
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Ishara's story, a boy in the street
(ANS - Bukavu) - In their message of last May 13, the Bishops of Northern and Southern Kivu, members of the Provincial Episcopal Assembly of Bukavu, once again denounced: "The number of street children are growing at an alarming rate." The Salesians active in Bukavu, such as Fr Piero Gavioli, deal with this situation on a daily basis: not statistical data, but real children, innocent victims. On the example of their founder, the Children of Don Bosco still succeed in giving hope, dignity and opportunities for the future.